Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars macbook air - style over substance?, 6 Dec. 2010
This review is from: New MacBook Air 13 inch Laptop(Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz, 2GB RAM, 128GB Flash Storage, NVIDIA GeForce 320M Graphics) - launched October 2010 (Electronics)
The Macbook Air is a beautiful piece of engineering by Apple. It is ultra thin and stylish in a compact light form. I would describe it as the supermodel of note books in terms of design.
Below the surface however is a dual core 1.86ghz processer which is rather old tech with a 128gb solid state flash drive and 2gb of ram.(I would upgrade to 4gb of ram as this is soldered onto the board and is non upgradable once purchased)

The machine is lightning fast on boot up. It takes less then 14 seconds to boot up in both mac o/s and Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Full Version (PC DVD), 1 User installed in bootcamp with lots of additional software installed on the mac.(bootcamp allows you to install the windows operating system on a partioned drive its easy to set up with the bootcamp assistant on mac o/s)

Programs and web pages open very quickly compared to my I7 processor and dual core desktops. This is probably more due to the way the processor architecture and ram works in conjunction with the solid state drive.

The Macbook Air comes with no dvd drive or ethernet Lan connection (you can buy a Apple usb ethernet adapter if you want) and the Mac o/s comes on a usb pen drive (this is much better no cracked discs and a much smaller form). So if you want to install windows or other programs on disc you will need to purchase an external dvd drive or connect to another pc via wireless to borrow one from another pc.

To reinstall the Mac o/s it takes around 25 minutes to reinstall from scratch. Windows 7 took around 35-40 minutes to install on the Air.

The Macbook comes wth the latest iLife pre-installed. Which includes iphoto, garage band and imovies. It also come with a buit in webcam and microphone to make calls on Aim and skype etc. This works really well and is easy to set up. Skype and Facetime (free calls to iphone users) needs to be installed and set up, others such as googlemail are preconfigured and you just need to add your Id and password and your good to go.

I would also recommend getting Parallels Desktop 6.0 English (Mac) to run windows programs on the mac operating system at the same time without having to reboot.
Games do not run as well on the mac operating system. I would suggest playing the games via bootcamp with a Windows operating system. One of the games that runs okay which is fairly new is Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (Mac/PC DVD-ROM) Games run okay on low to medium setting generally but fan noise can get pretty loud sometimes. This happens also on high end laptops as well, but worrys me with the Mac due to the lack of air ventilation. I would say the mac is fine for light on the move gaming . However if you are at home i suggest using your desktop instead.

In conclusion if you are looking to buy a high resolution, ultra light notebook to browse the internet use programs on the go with fastboot up times. This is the machine to get, particulary if you're a student.
However the Mac is expensive and there are much more powerful notebooks with faster processers and better graphics at cheaper prices. Which are better for faster 3d editing, games and photo manipulation etc. However they are much heavier to carry and slower on boot up. (unless you upgrade your note book with a solid state drive which are very expensive)
If you want something in a smaller form factor you can get the New MacBook Air 11 inch Notebook(Intel Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz, 2GB RAM, 128GB Flash Storage, NVIDIA GeForce 320M Graphics) - launched October 2010 which is slightly less powerful and has no sd card slot. Or alternatively if money is no object I would also recommend the Sony Vaio Z series laptops with customisation.

After thoughts:
I am mainly a Windows user and the Mac o/s system does take some to time to get use. Particulary weird was the installation of programs and the need to pull them to the application folder and the ejection and disposable of the dmg (application)file after installation.
However the multi touch feature is really good if your familar with ipad or iphone you will adapt to this quickly.
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